Phil Perkins Photography

Photo ⋅ Pictures ⋅ Poetry

Tag: Spruce Flats Falls

  • Waterfall


    This 30-foot tall waterfall located in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee is Spruce Flats Falls. You can see more when visiting my gallery, where many prints are available. So, check it out…

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Shots From the Trail

    More specifically, shots from the trail to Spruce Flats Falls in the Smoky Mountains. It’s not a long hike, though the terrain is somewhat challenging with several changes in elevation. Nevertheless, the falls are beautiful so it’s definitely worth the effort! These photographs are available as prints in my gallery, so, if you’d like to decorate an empty wall in your home, office, business lobby, cafeteria or hospital setting, then do stop by and have a look around.

  • On the Trail

    Photograph of the trail in forest leading to Spruce Flats Falls in the Smoky Mountains.

    I recently shot this photograph along the mountainside trail to Spruce Flats Falls and Upper Spruce Flats Falls, located in the Tremont section of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. It’s available on prints in my galleries at Pixels and ArtPal, and I’m sure it would look great on a wall in your home! Check it out…

  • More Waterfall Shots

    After my hike up the mountain, I shot these photographs of Upper Spruce Flats Falls – before, and as the sunrise created a lens flare effect. Though not visible from 30-feet below at Spruce Flats Falls, an expenditure of substantial effort is required in order to visit this site…climbing quite a distance up the steep mountain, and then down along a different track to eventually reach a viewing area probably not more than 8-feet wide. You can see more in my gallery. Thanks!

  • Spruce Flats Falls

    Before hiking off-trail to locate Upper Spruce Flats Falls, I enjoyed visiting the picturesque 30-foot tall Spruce Flats Falls, capturing this image. You can enjoy this scenery on a wall at home or work, when selecting a print from either of my galleries at Pixels or ArtPal. Many print types are available. Thanks for visiting!

  • Upper Spruce Flats Falls

    It had been quite a while since first I saw another waterfall above Spruce Flats Falls. During autumn of 2021, as leaves fell from the trees, I’d caught a glimpse of whitewater through bare branches as I traversed a mountain trail in the Smoky Mountains.

    Of course, I had to find a way to access these newly discovered falls, but, over time, that proved to be difficult. There was no way to climb up and over the 30-foot tall Spruce Flats Falls, as it ran down a vertical wall of slippery, wet rock. On the right side of the gorge is a tall mountain, with several sections of imposing cliffs and no visually discernible route of ascension.

    I’d tried the left side, before, successfully climbing up some distance, though, without seeing a path forward, turned around. Yesterday, however, I tried again.

    The hillside is very steep and always wet, due to both airborne mist from the falls, and given that its proximity is somewhat shielded from direct sunlight. Under wet leaves, the soil remains damp and slippery. This means that, to advance uphill, there are often instances when footing is reliable for no more than a few seconds.

    As such, it’s important to avoid open areas which lack handholds – rocks, exposed tree roots, trees and bushes (especially Rhododendrons, a hearty shrub).

    After an arduous climb, I reached a relatively flat space and stood to rest for a moment. I also laughed, because, as I caught my breath and thought about how strenuous that climb had been, I saw an old tree with many persons initials carved into the bark. Well, I thought…I’m sure they were younger than 59 years old!

    Thus far, stability and continuity of movement were of primary concern; if I’d lost balance and started to slide down such a steep face, I probably couldn’t have stopped. To such ends, I expended a great deal of physical energy, which, at times, included essentially crawling uphill to increase the breadth of my grip, where little was present.

    With this endeavor, challenges were constant, and the need for caution, continuous. In order to access the base of Upper Spruce Flats Falls, I needed to keep climbing much higher before then descending across the mountainside along a diagonal trajectory – I knew where the falls where, but only generally how to go about getting there.

    Looking forward I could see that I first needed to reach higher ground, some 20-feet above my location. To do so, I’d either have to backtrack a fair distance in order to climb up a rocky section; or, alternatively, I could try a route directly in front of me, across a narrow leaf-covered ledge and then up a short but steep hill, also with leaves.

    As I mapped out an ascent in front of me, it appeared that there would be sufficient small rocks in place to establish safe handholds. Well, that turned out to be a mistake.

    Halfway into the process, I realized that the ground was more slippery than anticipated and, while a few fixed rocks had decent edges for gripping, the consequence of slipping would entail a fall of 20 feet. I quickly gathered myself, and, very slowly, climbed down in reverse from whence I came. Once safe, I opted for the other route.

    After an exhaustive hike up the mountain, than across and back down again, through dense shrubbery and vines with thorns, my legs were gashed and bleeding in several spots. Nonetheless, I’d finally arrived at the approx. 25-foot tall waterfall!

    Prints available in my gallery.

    Lessons From the Trail

    A note about trekking poles. Walking sticks provide hikers with the capacity to achieve better balance, and I surely could not have reached this waterfall absent such aides. However, more commonly, I used my trekking poles continuously to brace myself from sliding downhill, as push-points for upward locomotion, to test surface footing underneath leaves, remove debris from underfoot, and, on my return, as points through which to gather my weight during descent.

    A note about leaves. Leaves can be deceptive, as often a flat blanket of leaves does not accurately represent an underlying surface. There may be crevices or a hole. Also, leaves accumulated on a hill against the upside of a log may simply be stacked in suspension. Either way, it’s important to always check for stability before trusting your step.

    A note about handholds. For safety, every handhold should first be tested whenever possible. One should never assume, for instance, that a tree will support ones weight, particularly when its the only point of stability being relied upon. In such situations, grasping the base of the tree near the ground increases the likelihood that a tree won’t break.

    A note about focus. The cost of weak moments can be significant and, just as the physical demands of such a climb left me exhausted, so too did the need to retain focus. Herein, in order to remain safe and to accomplish my goal, each step had to be considered, and each movement methodical. Furthermore, as previously noted, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and take the time to be thorough when weighing options to proceed; to recognize a diminished state of mental acuity, and not allow oneself to hurry.

  • Distant Waterfall

    Spruce Flats Falls can be seen upstream in the distance, standing 30-feet tall. It’s located in the Tremont section of the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. If you’re looking for an accent piece for your home or workplace, then visit my galleries at Pixels and Redbubble to discover a variety of options. I hope to see you soon!

  • Spruce Flats Falls

    Prints available. Here’s a distant view of Spruce Flats Falls. It’s a lovely 30′ tall waterfall located in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, and can be enjoyed while hiking a moderately difficult 2 mile out and back trail. Plus, you can discover many fine prints (and more) featuring my photography when you visit my gallery…hope to see you soon!

  • Spruce Flats Falls

    After sitting a spell to enjoy a peaceful setting at the base of Spruce Flats Falls, I decided to hike downstream to see what I could find. During summer months, the water is generally lower than otherwise, allowing one to more easily traverse the rock-lined waterway of Spruce Flats Branch. Nevertheless, there are several areas which remain difficult to safely navigate, and it’s important to be mindful of potential hazards.

    Of course, damp rocks are slippery, as is moss (which is everywhere), and each should be approached with caution. Worse yet, though, are rocks which appear dry yet have a thin, slippery film under a fine layer of dirt. Other rocks, some of significant size and weight, defy ones perception of stability, unexpectedly shifting underfoot, posing a risk of falling or injuring an ankle. The same holds true for downed timber. It’s important to always test whether or not a log can support ones weight, if that is the purpose applied for passage. Again, even the largest log can give way and pose real danger.

    At a few points, I had to climb up and out of the creek bed, making my way across steep and narrow surfaces, before descending again back to the water below. In such situations, trekking poles are critical and serve to provide needed support for both weight and balance. It’s also wise to be aware of surrounding handholds (hearty plants, small trees or exposed roots) on hillsides, should the need exist.

    The final stretch of this creekside adventure entailed descending a 15-foot rock face, strewn with logs and quite slippery in some areas. This waterfall is named Honey Cove Falls, and is visible from along a dirt road in Tremont, across Middle Prong Little River. Following consumption of water and a protein bar, I relaxed to enjoy the natural beauty of this area, thereafter pondering… what next? Do I retrace my steps up the mountain to Spruce Flats Falls, expending a great deal of time and energy in so doing, such that I may then hike out along the trail from which I entered the forest? Or, given a seasonal deficiency of water, is it possible to safely wade across Middle Prong Little River, in order to follow the road back to my parked vehicle?

    I opted for the latter, very cautiously wading through over 2-feet deep flowing water, across a river bed of very slippery stones. Even here, caution is critical to avoid injury, as ones feet can slip and become wedged between rocks.

    All told, I had a great hike and enjoyed many sights which are not often seen. Being mindful and with a deep respect of the danger inherent in nature, such hikes aren’t overly difficult. However, without deliberation, it can be very easy to have a bad day.

    I have many fine prints available in my gallery, and encourage guests to visit.

  • Spruce Flats Falls

    Standing 30-feet tall, Spruce Flats Falls can be enjoyed on a moderately difficult two mile out and back hike in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. And, you can enjoy this waterfall scenery in your home on a print, as well, when you visit any of the following galleries: Pixels, Society 6 and ArtPal.

    Here’s another view of the waterfall, photographed while standing on rocks in the middle of Spruce Flats Branch. The water-level was low during my visit, so I was able to fully explore downstream…more on that another time. You can find prints in my galleries at Pixels, ArtPal and Redbubble.

    This photograph was taken from the left side of the falls, closer to the plunge pool area. It’s somewhat obscured from within the foliage, yet a beautiful natural scene nonetheless. For prints, gifts and apparel, please visit these galleries: Pixels, Redbubble and ArtPal.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Honey Cove Falls

    Honey Cove Falls

    This close-up photograph of Honey Cove Falls was taken in the Tremont section of the Smoky Mountains, in Tennessee. See more.

  • Honey Cove Falls

    Honey Cove Falls

    This recent morning photograph of Honey Cove Falls was taken in the Tremont section of the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, where water flows into Middle Prong Little River. You can visit my gallery to find a broad array of fine prints available. Thanks!

  • Spruce Flats Falls

    Located in the Tremont section of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, hikers can enjoy Spruce Flats Falls, a scenic waterfall standing 30-feet tall.

    You, too, can enjoy this beautiful autumn scenery when you purchase a fine print or other item from my gallery at Fine Art America.

    Print types: framed, canvas, art, poster, metal, wood, acrylic and tapestry.

    Customization: framed prints may be customized to suit your interests, with options for size, frame, mat, mat width and paper type.

  • Spruce Flats Falls

    Spruce Flats Falls

    This is Spruce Flats Falls, a 30-foot tall waterfall located in the Tremont section of Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains, near Cades Cove. If you’d like a print for your home or office, or any of several other products available, then visit my gallery. Print types include framed, canvas, art, poster, metal, wood, acrylic and tapestry. Enjoy the great outdoors!

  • Spruce Flats Falls

    This is the picturesque Spruce Flats Falls. Standing 30-feet tall, it’s located in the Tremont section of the Smoky Mountains, in Tennessee.

    Images shown in progression, from up close to further downstream. Each is available on prints in my shop at Pixels – simply click the links above to select the one you like. Thanks!